How Long Did It Take to Build the Ark?


How Long Did It Take to Build the Ark?

Noah’s Ark and the Flood during Noah’s time remains one of the most popular stories in the Bible. However, there is much confusion regarding the actual time taken to construct the Ark. How long did it take to build the Ark?

Our first clue is found in Genesis 6:3 where God says, “My Spirit will not contend with humans forever, for they are mortal; their days will be a hundred and twenty years.” Though the exact time God spoke these words is not revealed, the time from this statement until the Flood would be no longer than 120 years.

Some have claimed 120 was the time limit of the human lifespan after the Flood. However, many people in the early generations following the Flood lived beyond this age. Even in recent times, there are some accounts of people living to more than 120 years old.

Others have taught the construction of the Ark took 120 years. Yet Genesis 6:19 reveals God told Noah to build the Ark when he already had a wife, three sons, and three daughters-in-law. But if Japheth was born when Noah was 500 years old (Genesis 5:32) and was 600 when the Flood occurred (Genesis 7:6), then our timeline must be far less than 120 years.

In fact, Japheth, Shem, and Ham were all old enough to have a wife when Noah was given the words of Genesis 6:19. Even if Japheth was married as early as 20 years old and his brother followed this pattern within five years, there could have been no more than 75 years maximum between the beginning of the Ark’s construction and the Flood.

Based on the ages of Noah’s three sons and the ages at which they married (between about 20-45 years old), Noah likely built the Ark in 50-75 years and perhaps less. While this indicates Noah and his sons and daughters-in-law all having children at much later ages than in modern times, this timeline best fits the biblical evidence. In fact, the Bible presents people bearing children at much later ages in the generations leading up to the Flood, indicating something significant may have occurred during this event that led to shortened human life spans.

Genesis 11:10 also reveals, “Two years after the flood, when Shem was 100 years old, he became the father of Arphaxad.” This indicates Shem was about 98 at the time of the Flood, two years younger than Japheth. Shem was the second son of Noah, with Japheth the oldest, and Ham the youngest.

Of additional interest is the note in Genesis 5:27. Methuselah lived 969 years, the oldest age recorded in the Bible. Adding the years of his life until the timing of the Flood, he died in the same year as the Flood. Some have suggested Methuselah died in the Flood. While possible, the Bible does not specifically note this event.

We do not have an exact date regarding the time of the Ark’s construction. However, based on the biblical information, a timeframe of 50-75 years is most likely.

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  1. Brien Doyle on September 10, 2019 at 8:53 pm

    There never was a ‘global’ flood!!

    The Bible ‘book’ is a compendium of fire side tales and fables,

    recounted orally for generations by goat herders and primitive tribes from the stone age, until writing was invented,

    and then again, many different sources, transliterations, and versions were copied and written down.

    ”The Bible was created during a time where stories were orally passed down over thousands of years.
    Stories constantly morphed and changed over time, and the Bible is a collection of these.
    This is why it has the nearly identical flood story from Gilgamesh, and why Jesus has the same characteristics as Dionysus, Osiris, Horus, Mithra, and Krishna.
    The contradictions and immorality in the stories are not evidence that God is flawed or evil,
    but rather that humans invented him, just like the thousands of other gods that we used to but no longer believe in.”

    …and to answer the questions of the many fears and mysteries of our universe, like ‘thunder’ and earthquakes, since there was no science yet.

    This is the old Testament.

    The �new� Testes is also hearsay since these letters, �gospels� and stories were written by the loyal faithful, the camp followers,
    not by objective historians at that particular time,
    or by any contemporary writers,
    and these tales were written many years after the supposed events of this mythical Jesus.

    Thus, there is no verifiable evidence of a Jesus in real documented history.

    Then, many of these stories, but not all, as many were not chosen,
    [ There are more than just four Gospels but only these four were agreed on ],
    were compiled for one self-absorbed converted Roman Emperor in his Nicean Council,
    for his expressed purpose of conquest and
    control of the people of Europe for his Holy Roman Empire.
    He recognised that this was the perfect religion/mythology for the future domination of the populaces.

    Half of the stories were ignored by the Nicean Bishops and none have been proven to be based on fact.

    This �Bable� book is backed up by absolutely no facts and no evidence.
    It is not proof for any god(s) ….(or of any jesus as a god…)

    The fables are intertwined within historical places and people…
    eg Egypt and the Pharaohs existed,
    whereas Moses and the Exodus did not happen…!
    It is a historical novel……


    The Bible is proof of a book ONLY (certainly not evidence of any gods…)

    • Wesley on September 24, 2022 at 8:48 pm

      No the book of Matthew was written when Jesus walked on this earth and Jesus told Matthew what to write Word for Word it’s the only book in the Bible that was physically dictated by him. All other books were written with inspiration from the Holy Spirit. Especially the old testament they were is chosen. Well at least that’s what I believe Word for Word the Bible it’ll let you know mathematically how old the earth is with us on it. And christ changed my life amen

      • Judie on July 24, 2023 at 10:15 am

        I’m glad Christ changed your life, especially if you were suffering. Belief in a god is a strong force that can be used for good, but it can also and has often been used to harm and kill innocent people. Look at the Crusades for example. So we need to look at the facts. The gospels, all 4 that were accepted by the early church, were written long after Jesus died. None of those who wrote the 4 gospels actually knew Jesus. They wrote stories that they were told by others. That doesn’t mean the stories aren’t true, it just means we can’t know that they are factual.

      • Daniel on August 4, 2023 at 6:31 pm

        Only a Fool says in in his heart (There is No God)

    • Secret on March 14, 2023 at 9:30 pm

      The Bible is seen in many different senses. Literal, allegorical , anagogical, and more. There was no evidence of a worldly flood, but population was very small. Evidence of a larger size flood in that area has been gathered which could have seemed worldly for the small population at the time. Even then the story itself is not the main point, but the message behind it. There has also been proof that Jesus did exist through his cross his shroud, his tomb and so much more. For many years the Bible was passed through word of mouth, yes, but 100s even 1000s of people shared the same experience and story. The catholic religion is the longest standing church that’s practices in such a wide spread way sticking true to the same beliefs. Many religions show similar gods, but none nearly have enough evidence, miracles, and things science can not explain as the Catholic Church does.

  2. Joseph Bruno Saraceno on August 30, 2022 at 1:59 am

    I did the math 50 years ago and I came up with 120 years.

    Did you know that Palm Sunday was the 1st day of the creation and Good Friday is when God made Adam. The full moon tells you why. It’s all in the Bible and tradition.

    • Isaac Mukama on January 2, 2023 at 2:51 pm

      It cannot be 120 years.
      If one of the sons of Noah as 98 years after the flood.
      Gen 11:10 These are the generations of Shem. When Shem was 100 years old, he fathered Arpachshad two years after the flood.
      Just this scripture makes 120 years dead wrong.
      Remember the ark was built by Noah and Noah’s wife and his sons and his son’s wives.
      By the time of building the ark, the sons had wives.
      For example, Noah was 500 years old when Japheth, the first of his sons, was born (Genesis 5:32). Yet Noah’s second son, Shem, had his first son two years after the Flood, when he was 100 (Genesis 11:10).2 This means that Shem was 98 years old when the Flood came, and it also means that Shem was born when Noah was 502 years old. So for Noah to begin having children at 500 means that Japheth was indeed the older brother, as per Genesis 10:21, being born when Noah was 500. Ham is mentioned as the youngest of Noah (Genesis 9:24).
      The flood came when Noah as 600 years according to Genesis.
      If the sons were already married with wives means that the ark took approx 50 – 75 years to build if they married at between 16 – 40 years.
      Read through the bible and note that various numbers and you’ll have a range as above for this agreement to make sense

  3. Joseph Bruno Saraceno on August 30, 2022 at 2:02 am

    On Noa’s Arc, I did the math 50 years ago and I came up with 120 years.

  4. Deirdre Peewit on May 8, 2023 at 8:32 pm

    Talking of mathematics along with exactness in the bible, how do you deal with the erroneous estimate of pi – as in 2 pi r – 1st Kings 7

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